America's CupIt’s the most coveted prize in sailing yacht racing. The next phase of the AC World Series, the precursor to the America’s Cup yacht racing competition, begins October 2 in San Francisco. This series of matches, or fleet races, will lead up to the America’s Cup that will be held in San Francisco staring July 4, 2013. San Francisco’s own Golden Gate Yacht Club will be the defending team for that set of races. The America’s Cup was first awarded in 1851 to the scooner America, captained by the Royal Yacht Squadron, following a race around the Isle of Wight. American yachters then went on the longest winning streak in sports. It lasted until 1983, when Australia II, from The Royal Perth Yacht Club, famously captured the cup.
The America’s Cup World Series began in 2011 as a sort of warm-up and prequalification for the main competition. For the World Series races, a specific type of boat, the AC45, is used by all teams. It’s a wingsail catamaran, and is smaller than the AC72 which will be used in next summer’s America’s Cup races. Teams for the upcoming races will sail from the St. Francis and Golden Gate Yacht Clubs, just off of Marina Boulevard.